Hunterdon Academy of the Arts, the county’s largest performing arts school, is celebrating the Grand Re-Opening of its Lebanon campus with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on October 24, at 6:00 PM. The event is scheduled to take place at the school’s new Lebanon home, 148 Main Street (“Oasis Commons,” formerly “Grist Mill”), and the general public is cordially invited to attend.
The October 24 Ceremony will be performed by Christopher Phelan, President and C.E.O. of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. Immediately following the Ribbon Cutting, Mr. Phelan will draw the Winner of a Special Raffle, who will receive 6 months of Free Music Lessons at Hunterdon Academy of the Arts. Musical entertainment and light refreshments will be provided.
Hunterdon Academy of the Arts has been expanding rapidly in recent years. “Our instruction is customized to the needs, learning preferences, and goals of each individual student,” says Valentina Jotovic, the company’s C.E.O and a professional Flutist with a Master’s degree from Rutgers. Inspired and nourished by this special environment, a growing number of students is coming to HAA for Lessons and Classes. Many get excited to participate in local performances and shows, and some even excel in music competitions, winning prizes and opportunities to perform in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. “We’re extremely proud of all our students, whether they join our programs for enjoyment and relaxation or the thrills and excitement of competitive stage performance.”
Under the leadership of Ms. Jotovic–who in 2016 was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce–Hunterdon Academy of the Arts has received numerous awards, including “Best Music School in Hunterdon” by the Hunterdon Happening List in 2016 and 2017; and Musikgarten’s “Exemplary Program Award” (three times) for the school’s strong commitment to early childhood music education. Maintaining operations in Flemington as well as Lebanon, HAA’s total enrollments are expected to exceed 800 this fall. Strong demand for Music Lessons brought HAA’s Lebanon location to full capacity this past spring. “We started our Lebanon campus in 2014 on a very small scale because frankly, we didn’t know if we would get enough traction in that part of the county,” says Jotovic. “Three years later, it has become clear to us that the Lebanon operation does hold its own, and we are ready to make a larger commitment there.” Jacob Hughes, HAA Manager, likes the new facility: “The bright new space really reflects the commitment and dedication of all the families who have joined us and been growing with us for a few years now. The structure still has much of the exposed beamwork of the old Grist Mill, that helps to keep, not just the building, but us as a school, tied to a sense of history and community in Hunterdon County.”
Established in 1981 as “Cooper Music Studio,” the school was founded by Bob and Donna Cooper, two passionate advocates of early childhood music education. “Cooper Music” became Hunterdon Academy of the Arts in 2007, when the school was purchased by Valentina Jotovic, and her husband, Antonius Bittmann. Ms. Jotovic serves as the school’s C.E.O., while Dr. Bittmann maintains a full-time career at Rutgers University. Prior to his current appointment as Associate Vice President of Online Programs, Bittmann was Chair of the Music Department and subsequently, Associate Dean of the Mason Gross School of the Arts.
For more information about Hunterdon Academy of the Arts, call (908) 782-4943 or visit www.HunterdonAcademyOfTheArts.com